Review: Athletic Brewing Company Non Alcoholic Beer
Athletic Brewing Company is hard to miss these days.
Founded in 2017 by Bill Shufelt – a hedge fund trader turned NA brewer – Athletic Brewing was one of the first breweries in the United States dedicated to exclusively to non-alcoholic beer. Today, the company controls a massive 61% market share in the craft non-alcoholic beer space, and saw their sales grow 500% in 2020.
And if all the recent press coverage the company is receiving is any indication, they’re just getting started…
In addition to their incredible growth during the pandemic, the big story behind Athletic Brewing has been its list of high-profile investors, including NFL players J.J. Watt and Justin Tuck, chef and TV personality David Chang, and cycling legend Lance Armstrong. The announcement of these celebrity backers took the NA world by storm, as it brings tremendous credibility to the category, and will no doubt help reshape the conversation around non-alcoholic beverages.
But all this growth isn’t just fueled by great branding and celebrity endorsements. Scour any online community or forum related to non-alcoholic beer, and Athletic Brewing is a frequent topic of discussion (good luck finding a list of top non-alcoholic IPA’s that doesn’t include Athletic’s Run Wild). And for good reason. You’d be hard-pressed to find a lineup as deep and delicious as Athletic Brewing Company’s.
To date, Athletic Brewing has crafted over 30 non-alcoholic beers, including their two flagships Run Wild IPA and Upside Dawn Golden Ale, plus their popular seasonal options Cerveza Athletica and All Out Stout. In addition, the company offers an ever-changing mix of small batch seasonals, such as a non-alcoholic Gose, Double Hop IPA, Local Harvest Ale, and Brown Ale.
It’s clear that Athletic is passionate about non-alcoholic beer. And this passion has permeated the market, helping drive the entire category of NA beer forward. Which is fantastic news for us consumers, as we’ve never had more great tasting alcohol-free beer options than we do right now. And for this, we owe Athletic Brewing Company quite a bit of credit.
Of course, celebrity investors and press features aside, the real reason everyone is talking about ABC is the beer. For those that have yet to give them a try, we’ve put together this review of Athletic Brewing Company non-alcoholic beer. Though they’ve produced dozens of brews, we’re focusing on their two flagships - Run Wild IPA and Upside Dawn Golden Ale – plus their popular seasonals Cerveza Athletica and All Out Stout.
Read on for our full review of Athletic Brewing, and be sure to tag us on social at @sipyours with your thoughts!
Review: Athletic Brewing Company Run Wild IPA
One of the most discussed non-alcoholic beers in the world, Athletic Brewing Company’s Run Wild IPA is the flagship of the brewer’s lineup. Which is no surprise, as this beer is absolutely delicious, and sits firmly on our own personal list of best non-alcoholic beers. And we’re not the only ones. Run Wild has received top honors from the World Beer Awards, Best of Craft Beer Awards, and The International Beer Challenge.
A blend of five Northwest hops, Run Wild IPA hits that sweet spot – bitter enough to provide great flavor sip after sip, but not so bitter as to overwhelm your tastebuds. There’s no mistaking that it’s an IPA, but through brewing magic, Athletic has managed to make this beer refreshing enough to crack open after a long run or heavy workout. Athletic’s founder started the company specifically to create a beer more compatible with an active lifestyle, and with Run Wild, he hit the mark. Plus, with only 70 calories per can, there’s no reason you have to stop at just one.
Run Wild pours a shade of light amber, and features a generous amount of foam on top that retains especially well for a non-alcoholic beer. The aroma is slightly malty with plenty of pine from those Northwest hops. And as you sip, you’ll get a medium body with notes of malt and west coast floral, with subtle hints of citrus.
Athletic Brewing Run Wild IPA is crisp, flavorful, and undeniably delicious. Even for those that think they’re not IPA fans, this one will have you second guessing yourself. The perfect beer for anyone looking for a quality non-alcoholic option.
Review: Athletic Brewing Company Upside Dawn Golden Ale
For those that prefer their beer on the lighter side, Athletic Brewing Company offers their Upside Dawn Golden Ale. A Silver Medalist at the 2020 Best of Craft Beer Awards, Upside Dawn is a light and refreshing take on the classic craft golden ale.
Athletic brews this beer using a mix of organic malts from the United States and Germany, with a combination of English and American hops. This blend of ingredients brings a perfect balance to the flavor, which has notes of sweet malt and subtle hops at the end. It pours the perfect shade of gold with plenty of bright white head, and smells of cereal malt, grassy hops, and just a touch of honey.
Now, as if the flavor and aroma weren’t good enough, Athletic Brewing’s Upside Dawn really shines is on the nutritional label. This flavor packed beer is somehow only 50 calories per can! Honestly, we don’t know how they do it. You could easily expect to find triple the calories in an alcoholic golden ale. Athletic’s ability to keep all that flavor and eliminate 2/3 of the calories is pure magic.
Whether you’re looking for something bright and light to sip while working the grill on a hot summer day, or need something refreshing after a long run or working in the garden, Athletic Brewing Company’s Upside Dawn Golden Ale is the perfect option for nearly every occasion.
Review: Athletic Brewing Company All Out Stout
Taking home a Bronze Medal at the 2020 World Beer Awards, Athletic Brewing Company’s All Out Stout is a beloved, extra-dark brew that’s just begging to be sipped on a cold winter night.
All Out Stout is Athletic Brewing’s most flavor-forward beer. Each sip features a burst of coffee and bittersweet chocolate, with notes of roasted malt and nuts. The coffee and chocolate combo is quite delicious, however there’s no mistaking the fact that this is clearly a brew made for that love their beer bitter.
As you pour All Out Stout, you’re greeted with a rich dark brown hue and deep beige head, plus the delicious aroma of roasted grains and hints of chocolate. Of all the non-alcoholic dark beers we’ve tried, Athletic does one of the best jobs replicating the flavors and experience of the fully-leaded versions. And compared to the whopping 200-300+ calories many traditional stouts can pack into a serving, All Out’s 90 calories per can is an absolute miracle.
If rich, dark stouts are your thing, Athletic Brewing Company’s All Out Stout is a great non-alcoholic option for you.
Review: Athletic Brewing Company Cerveza Athletica
Billed as a “remarkably refreshing Mexican Light Copper,” Athletic Brewing Company’s Cerveza Athletica is a great option for those looking for something that’s full flavored, yet still light and refreshing.
Brewed with a blend of organic German Vienna and Munich malts and German Hersbrucker hops, Cerveza Athletica pours a light auburn color with a fresh white head. As you pour, you’re immediately met with the aroma of sweet toasted malt, crisp bread crust, and mild floral hops. And with each sip you’ll experience a mix of flavors that includes light spice, caramel, and just a touch of hops.
While Athletic Brewing Company’s Cervaza Athletica is extremely refreshing and drinkable, it’s important to note that this beer is its own unique style. For those looking for a spot-on replica of Corona or other Mexican favorites, this isn’t it. Sure, it’ll sip perfectly on a hot summer day in the sun, but Cerveza Athletica brings much more flavor to the party than the traditional Mexican beer you’d grab off the store shelf. And with only 60 calories per can, you can plan on enjoying a few extra beach beers without the guilt.
If you haven’t done so already, be sure to give Athletic Brewing Company a try. One of the best selections of non-alcoholic beers on the market, they offer a variety of amazing options, meaning you’re sure to find the alcohol-free beer that’s right for you!
Let us know what you think of our review of Athletic Brewing Company below, and be sure to tag us on social at @sipyours with your thoughts!